Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has awesome possibilities in-store to earn a passive income on your crypto holdings. However, the high gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain eat into the passive income earned on DeFi platforms, which makes investing in DeFi unfeasible unless you have at least a few thousand dollars to spare.
If this is not the case for you, one option that still lets you profit from the investment opportunities in this sector is DeFi platforms on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Currently, the BSC is the largest competitor to Ethereum on the DeFi sector, mostly because it’s functionally similar and easy to use for Ethereum veterans, as the BSC uses the same address space as Ethereum.
The easiest method to connect to the BSC is to download the Binance Chain Wallet, which is a browser extension that looks and feels similar to MetaMask. When you create a new wallet using this method, you automatically create three addresses: one for the Ethereum blockchain, one for the Binance Smart Chain (which is the same as your Ethereum address), and one for the Binance Chain.
How to Connect MetaMask to the Binance Smart Chain
The functional similarity between Ethereum and the BSC means also means that, if you are used to MetaMask as your Ethereum wallet, you can connect MetaMask to the BSC as well. You can then switch over to the BSC with a single click, just as you would do when switching from the Ethereum mainnet to one of the testnets.
If you want to add Binance Chain in MetaMask, use the following step-by-step instruction:
- Visit chrome-extension://nkbihfbeogaeaoehlefnkodbefgpgknn/home.html if you are using Google Chrome or open the MetaMask browser extension.
- Click your wallet symbol in the top right corner and then “settings”.
- Click “Networks” and then “Add Network”.
- Copy/Paste the following details:
Network Name: Binance Smart Chain (Mainnet)
New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/
Block Explorer URL: https://bscscan.com
- Click “Save”. You can now switch to the Binance Smart Chain from the top menu.
Which DeFi projects are on the Binance Smart Chain?
DAppradar reports that there are 63 DApps on the BSC, most of which are DeFi platforms. By far the largest projects are the Pancake Swap decentralized exchange and the Venus protocol, which acts as both a lending platform (similar to Aave) and a stablecoin protocol (similar to Maker).
All of the other projects are more or fewer copycats of the three main DeFi use cases (DEXes, lending, and vaults). A notable exception is BurgerSwap, which has developed a wrapping service that accepts any ERC-20 token from Ethereum as an input and makes it available on the BSC.
How to fund your BSC wallet with Binance Coin
On the BSC, gas fees are paid in Binance Coin. You, therefore, need some BNB to interact with any of the DeFi protocols on the Smart Chain. In order to get Binance Coins to your wallet, you can buy them on an exchange that allows withdrawals to the BSC, such as Binance.
When making your withdrawal request, BEP20 is the withdrawal option that you’re looking for. Most exchanges that do not have this withdrawal option allow withdrawals to the older Binance Chain (BEP2) however. You can easily transfer BNB between BEP2 and BEP20. If you send BNB from a Binance Chain wallet address to a BSC address, or vice versa, Binance Coin, as well as all other assets that are compatible with both chains, are converted automatically.
How do Gas Fees Compare with Ethereum?
The Binance Chain wallet uses a standard gas price of 20 Gwei for the BSC. MetaMask takes the gas price feed from the Ethereum blockchain as a standard, so you should set the gas price manually to avoid paying more than necessary. The minimum price is 15 Gwei. Any lower settings will throw an error and abort the transaction.
Besides this minimum threshold, the gas price is irrelevant to the current transaction workload. Any transaction passes within only a few seconds. Here are some current estimates for gas fees on common DeFi transactions with a 15 Gwei gas price:
- Swapping a token (PancakeSwap): $0.226
- Adding Liquidity (BurgerSwap): $3.466
- Removing Liquidity (BurgerSwap): $0.519
- Depositing Collateral (Venus Protocol): $0.230
- Borrowing (Venus Protocol): $0.568
- Withdrawing Collateral (Venus Protocol): $0.279
Considering that the gas average gas price on the Ethereum blockchain is currently about 8 times as high and the price of ETH is about 28 times as high as the price of BNB, expect the USD price for equivalent operations on Ethereum to be about 224 times higher than as quoted above.